2013 Year in Review

JANUARY. Jarom and I had a mini-vacation in Salt Lake. We saw the first Hobbit movie (it was awful) and went antique shopping. Then, back to real life.

FEBRUARY. I offered to do a lot of custom invitations to use to build my portfolio, so to speak. Unfortunately, I bit off more than I could chew and fell behind! We traveled to Southern California for Jarom’s grandmother’s funeral. Evan turned 4 and had a really amazing birthday party. He also started being much, much nicer than he had been as a 3-year-old.

MARCH. Our world turned upside-down when a routine 20-week ultrasound revealed that our third baby wouldn’t live. We spent the rest of the month reeling from the shock and trying to adjust.

APRIL. Most of the focus was on preparing for Christian’s birth and death. We were able to have our parents with us in the hospital and spend a short time together with Christian. He was buried in Springville a few days later.

MAY. Lost to grief.

JUNE. Lost to grief.

JULY. Lost to grief, except the surprise birthday party Jarom threw for me.

AUGUST. The week of my due date, I hosted a baby shower for my dear friend Bridget, who had moved to Alaska in May. Despite my good intentions, it was just too much and I had to run off to the bathroom to cry partway through. On the plus side, I made some really great carrot cupcakes for the shower. And once I was past my due date, the baby shower, and the birth of several friends’ babies, I started to feel more like myself again. Jarom and I even went on our traditional date to the law school Founders’ Day dinner and mini-vacation overnight.

SEPTEMBER. Evan started preschool! I put a lot of work into my Etsy shop (which is currently closed, sorry). We found a lost dog and held onto him for a few days until his owners contacted us.

OCTOBER. I spent a week and a half in California visiting my parents. It was incredibly relaxed and stress-free – almost like a real vacation! Jarom got a much-needed and much-deserved raise at work. Junebug turned 3. Evan was Superman for Halloween; June was a mermaid.

NOVEMBER. Evan watched The Princess Bride and became obsessed. Both kids got croup, and then I did, too. Our blog posts about Christian were adapted into a story and published. Also, Jarom crashed my car.

DECEMBER. Jarom got another raise! My parents and sister came for the holidays. We saw real reindeer at Thanksgiving Point. Christmas was full of good food; Jarom and I had to forgo presents for ourselves so we could save up for a new (to us) car. We had two meetings with a grief counselor to see if we’re grieving appropriately (basically yes). With fingers crossed, we look forward to 2014 and hope there are NO deaths in our family next year!

2012 Year in Review

JANUARY. It was so exciting to start our final semester of school. I read a lot of fiction during the first few weeks, before things got crazy. I had 2 on-campus classes and 1 independent study course, which seemed much easier after two full-time semesters. I started a one-line-a-day journal that will last me until approximately 2024. Evan was briefly interested in potty training, but went back to diapers after a few days. I finalized the design for our graduation announcements and sent them to the printer. When our handyman had to come do repairs on the kitchen sink, I hid piles of dirty dishes in the laundry room.

FEBRUARY. A friend commissioned me to do some custom name artwork, and it was so fun that I decided to open an Etsy shop after graduation. (Still more or less in the works.) I got into midterms, Evan turned 3 and had a Totoro-themed birthday party, and Jarom started interviewing for jobs after graduation. I took Evan to class with me a few times because I had to show him off. June started saying real words like “Totoro.” Adorable.

MARCH. The kids dumped a big tub of donut holes into a diaper box. I struggled with whether I wanted to do law school sooner or later or not at all. Jarom had his final paper to work on, as well as job interviews and the stress of classes. I might have used the kids as a (not entirely legitimate) excuse for turning things in late and not going to class. We got an ant infestation in the laundry room. One morning, June woke up at 3am, I had a paper due, and when I ran into a friend on campus, I offered to babysit her son for 4 hours that night. I began to think there was something seriously wrong with me. We went to the midnight showing of Hunger Games, I was a jury member for Jarom’s mock trial, I wrote an editorial for the BYU paper, and we drove to Las Vegas and back in one day.

APRIL. Krista took my kids overnight so I could work on school stuff – what a lifesaver! I finished all my papers, took finals, and…DONE with college! Jena & Bryan and my parents came out for graduation, and we had a biiiiiiiig party to celebrate finally being done. I drove Jarom’s cousin down to California and came back the next day. The biggest news: Jarom accepted a job offer in Orem! A job! In Orem! It started as soon as he finished his internship with the city, so we ended up without any jobless days. What a blessing!

MAY. Without the busyness of school, I started reading again with a vengeance. I made orange chocolate chip cookies and they are to die for. We had a congratulatory dinner with Jarom’s parents for our Mad Skillz of Graduating. June started going to nursery at church, which was beautifully amazing. I fell in love with an old house in Provo and talked Jarom into going to see it with me – fortunately, it didn’t work out, but it did get us thinking about buying a house. We made our first offer on a house toward the end of the month (it was turned down) and went on a weekend vacation with Jarom’s family. I went to see the house we now live in and adored it so much, I almost made an offer without Jarom. Fortunately he loved it too!

JUNE. Most of the month was lost to house-related stuff, like packing and cleaning. Jarom was studying for the bar in the evenings, so I did a lot on my own. Krista took the kids the night before we moved, which meant Jarom and I could go out to dinner to celebrate our big year: graduation, 5 years of marriage, buying our first house, knowing each other for half our lives. And then – moving day! Apparently I planned well, because loading and unloading the truck was done in under 3 hours. Good, right?

JULY. Making cookies in MY REAL OVEN for the first time in years was wonderful. We went to a barbecue with Jarom’s coworkers, and I started becoming friends with some of the other wives. I’d tried going without internet in the house but quickly gave up. Jarom’s parents bought us a fabulous washer and dryer. Evan really truly switched out of diapers. I got a piano for my birthday (and Jarom and Quentin moved it by themselves!). Jarom took the bar!

AUGUST.  I got a big bookcase and a nice long desk for a studio-type setup. Jarom ended up in the ER with gallstones and had surgery a few days later. I did Part 1 of the Great Chocolate Chip Cookie Experiment (and sometime I’ll get around to Part 2). Jarom and Evan went camping; June painted the floor with poop while they were gone. In a period of 3 days I found out that our homeowner’s insurance AND our health insurance were being cancelled. (Both were resolved, but it was a stressful time!) June flushed pajamas and toys down the toilet, so Jarom’s dad came and fixed it. We went to the Founders Day dinner and got to hear Elder Oaks speak. Our housewarming party was a huge success – if only the clean house had lasted! I drove out to California to visit friends and family.

SEPTEMBER. A few days after we got to my parents’ house, the kids both got croup. High fevers and nasty coughs and late nights…thankfully my mom entertained the kids during the day so I could sneak in some naps. We made it down to see Alicia and headed over to Jena’s, but by then the kids and I were worn out and homesick and beyond grouchy. I changed my plans and came home 5 days early. I’m glad I did, because that Saturday we found out that JAROM PASSED THE BAR!!! We made Liège waffles with Nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream (you must eat them). I started a book club. Kimberlee had her baby girl. We found a cheap cabinet at a garage sale and refinished it to match our other furniture. The broken tile in our bathroom finally got repaired – it was supposed to be fixed before we moved in!

OCTOBER. I got called to be the second counselor in Young Women’s. Jarom went to Albuquerque on business. I was able to listen to all of General Conference! I really, really started working seriously on stuff for my Etsy shop. One day I cleaned 5 rooms in 4 hours and was rewarded with Indian food. The next day I took the kids to the zoo. The next day I helped Krista clean for 5 hours. Jarom and I spoke in church about love at home (a topic I am vastly unqualified to talk about). Jarom got sworn in as a lawyer!! I got a sewing machine as a graduation gift from Jarom’s parents. I spent hours picking up horse chestnuts in our yard and decided the tree is less awesome in the fall. June turned 2! Halloween was lame! (But the kids were super cute.)

NOVEMBER. We got a dog. Jarom’s car started having trouble. There was a windstorm that knocked most of the leaves off our big tree, followed by a snowstorm that covered up all the leaves. I stayed up all night cleaning the house before vacation – and it was really spotless. Then I slept through all of Thanksgiving. It was nice to see family, and nice to have a tv in our room…but nicest of all to have Jarom take the kids so I could be left alone in the king-size bed. When we got back, I spent a week being embarrassed by the yard before finally raking and mowing (with a lot of help from my visiting teacher and father-in-law!).

DECEMBER. Jarom had a bunch of friends over to help with his car, but we were still down to one car for most of the month. Nevertheless, I’m extremely grateful for all the people who were out there in the freezing cold with Jarom, taking apart engines and putting them back together. I’ve heard that guys enjoy working on cars, so maybe it wasn’t such a horrible ordeal for them. We went for the biggest Christmas tree we could get, struggled to make it stand up straight, and finally put lights on – but no ornaments ever made it up. Our power went out in the middle of the day after a big, big snowstorm. It was a great experience to have our first Christmas in our new house, and watching the kids open their stockings and presents was really fun. We also loved having all of Jarom’s family together for the holidays – but it’s too bad it came at the price of a nasty bug spreading throughout the family. At the close of the year, it’s amazing to think of all that’s happened since January. But believe it or not, we anticipate more big changes in 2013!

2011 Year in Review

JANUARY. Jarom and I struggled to get used to both being in school, and were still adjusting to life with 2 kids. The semester started off well, and it actually made our marriage a lot more balanced to be switching off childcare every few hours. Busy, yes – very busy. But enjoyable. I even went so far as to declare that we were thriving.

FEBRUARY. School got a little trickier. And having two kids got a little trickier. I tried joining a book club, so that I’d have some hope at sanity, but since I was taking evening classes I couldn’t usually go to the meetings. The kids kept growing: Evan was talking in short sentences, and turned 2 at the end of the month; by then he could sing “Happy Birthday,” more or less. Also, he stole my blanket (earliest reference here). I entered an essay contest on campus, which I sadly lost; the winner turned out to be a poorly-written but emotionally manipulative essay. Jarom and I went to the ballet (Sleeping Beauty) as one of my Christmas gifts. Fantastic! Oh, and my one-credit block class ended, thankfully. It was the first time I lost points on a paper for being “too academic.”

MARCH. More busy lives, more snow, more slump. Suddenly (?) doing school full-time seemed like a bad move, but I was determined to keep going so I could graduate with Jarom in 2012. The month was fairly lost to papers, tests, and lots of (school-related) reading.

APRIL. Jarom got a job lined up for the summer that would continue through the school year. We are so, so lucky to have found something that let us stay put for the summer, and not worry as much about finances during the last year of school. And as for school itself? Survived! After a frantic few weeks at the end of the semester, I finished my papers and tests and got a 4.0. Yeah, I will brag about it again because it was super amazing. The downside was that Jarom and I both had nasty sinus infections for most of April, and once we got over those, Evan came down with roseola. (Caught roseola? What’s the correct terminology here?) I tell you, a toddler with an IV is not fun for anyone. Poor Evan! Not to be upstaged, June started crawling. Well played, June.

MAY. I took the summer off from school. I also kind of took it off from plans, so May was mainly spent playing with my kids. Stay-at-home mom FTW! Notable events from May were limited to our anniversary, an Oregon Trail birthday cake, and Jarom’s extra long fishing exursion.

JUNE. The kids and I found a caterpillar, so that Caterpillar was his name, and we called him Alexander and he answered just the same. (Oops. Sorry.) But really, that was a highlight of the summer. Evan and I loved watching the caterpillar grow! I drove back to California with the kids for my brother’s wedding. Jarom painted the living room for me while I was gone. I painted a galaxy for him in return.

JULY. The big deal: Harry Potter, of course! Also my birthday. The kids and I got to go spend a week in Tahoe with Jarom’s family (he had to stay behind and work). Because he’d still be working during the semester, when both of us were in school again, we bought a second car. It’s a pretty sweet car.

AUGUST. I got a streak of purple in my hair. Jarom and I went to see Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (always my favorite). Our good friends had their first baby! (And I was temporarily convinced that I wanted another baby, too.) Best of all, I took a night off from being a mom; Jarom and I spent the night in Salt Lake while our very generous relatives looked after Evan and June.

SEPTEMBER. Back to school. I thought things would be fine, since I handled the past semester so well, but with the addition of Jarom working 20 hours a week, life was beyond hectic. I made arrangements for my neighbor to babysit my kids while I was in class – possibly the only thing that kept me sane. I started taking art classes once a week, also from my neighbor, as an additional sanity safety measure. June said her first word: “Evan.” Loud and clear.

OCTOBER. I got so stressed about school that I went to see a counselor for help. Well, it was a nice idea. In October alone I had 5 tests, and I was only taking 4 classes. Not to complain or anything, but it was way more than I felt like I could handle. The month was one panicked how-do-I-survive. Bright spot: June started walking and turned one! We sure adore her.

NOVEMBER. The panic lasted until just before Thanksgiving break, when school calmed down a little. Just to keep me on my toes, both kids AND Jarom got Hand, Foot & Mouth disease, which meant they were all contagious and we couldn’t go to Thanksgiving dinner with family. Everyone was miserable, except me; Jarom missed school because he was sick, and I missed school because I was busy taking care of everyone.

DECEMBER. Convinced that the semester would be a complete failure, I went to see another counselor, a much more helpful one. I also spoke with one of my professors and got some insight that was even better than what the counselor told me. With an extra boost of optimism and a little who-cares-anyway, I made it through the end of the semester. (If you’re wondering, I ended up with a 3.6. Considering I expected about a 2.5, not too bad!) All of us were glad to be done with tests and papers, especially since it meant we got to take a train ride to California. Evan couldn’t sleep the night before because he was so excited. A comfortable week in Northern California visiting friends and family was the perfect way to relax and enjoy ourselves. I read over 3,000 pages on our trip! Then it was back to Utah to get ready for one last (very last!) semester. I can’t wait for all the changes 2012 will bring!

Previous: 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

2010 Year in Review

JANUARY. No car! With the generous help of our parents, we were able to get a replacement within two weeks. My 2010 reading goal: 26 books, with one author for each letter of the alphabet. Plans fell through for my on-campus classes. The Romgi got two internships lined up for the summer: one in Korea (alone) and one in Greensboro, North Carolina (with our whole family). After I thoroughly cleaned our bedroom, the Bwun knocked a can of paint off the nightstand (don’t ask why it was there when I said I’d just cleaned) and when it hit the floor, the lid popped off. Yeah. Giant paint spot on our floor. Still working on that one. Flu + ear infection + percocet = who knows what else happened in January?

FEBRUARY. Two baby showers, a wedding, and lots of sick people in our family. It was every bit as stressful as it sounds. Also: the Bwun turned one! We had a mustache party to celebrate. And my pet rat died. Not to celebrate.

MARCH. Big news – the Bwun started talking! Bigger news – baby on the way! We found out a week before the Romgi’s birthday. I really, really hoped for a girl, partly because we had already used the only boy’s name we agreed on. The Romgi and I went to a law school function called the Barrister’s Ball. He talked me into entering a chili cookoff at the law school; our entry came in last place. Last place. Seriously. Out of five entries. I have vowed to never make chili again.

APRIL. At long last, the Bwun started getting more teeth. His first two came in around Christmas, so it was a long wait until he got more. A long but calm wait. I hate teething! I suppose the Bwun probably does, too. The Romgi booked his flight to Korea. Finals, finals, finals. So glad they weren’t mine. I had a 10-week ultrasound, confirming that I was in fact pregnant, and the doctor told me I was carrying really high. That means a girl, right? And I was lucky enough to not have much (if any) morning sickness. So we made an official announcement, and everyone thought we were crazy. The Bwun made the big leap and walked on his own. He’d been walking for months, but wouldn’t let go of my hand until the end of May.

MAY. Before the Romgi left for Korea, we went out to Communal for our 3rd anniversary. I may not have had morning sickness, but pregnancy certainly affected my taste buds; everything was bland. Then I sadly sent the Romgi off to do his internship in Seoul. May was a miserable month. I tried to stay busy – the Bwun and I started a swimming class together with a friend from our ward, and it was a good distraction. I bought a Snuggie. I read a lot of books. I cleaned our house, sometimes. The Bwun stopped taking naps. The Bwun started being aggressive. We Skyped. By the end of May, I had to get out of Provo, so I went to visit my parents in California. Surprisingly, the Bwun was an angel on the drive.

JUNE. Unlike May, June had a little too much excitement. A visit to Salt Lake just before the Romgi came home resulted in my car being (wrongfully) towed and impounded. I went to the wrong terminal to pick the Romgi up. We had to go to a hearing to get our money back from the car towing mishap. There was about one week of relative calm at our house before an ultrasound, packing, planning, and more planning for our trip to North Carolina. Delightful news: baby girl on the way! We left on our roadtrip at the very end of the month.

JULY. We arrived in North Carolina after a week-long drive. I’ll be honest, I was grouchy and unpleasant for most of July. Here are my reasons: I was sleeping on an air mattress. We didn’t bring many toys or books for the Bwun to play with. I was pregnant. It was hot and humid. There was nowhere to go. I wasn’t familiar with the area. I didn’t know anyone. The Romgi was gone all the time. And above all, I was pregnant. Despite that, I look back fondly on our time in Greensboro. The Romgi thinks I’m crazy for saying it. My favorite thing was going to the beach in Emerald Isle.

AUGUST. Ready to go back to Utah? Yes! Wait…no. We were holed up in a hotel for 3 days in Raleigh while the Romgi and I were sick. Super sick. By the time we were recovered just enough to drive home, we didn’t have money, time, or patience to go through with our planned route through Washington, D.C. and up along I-80; instead we drove straight back from Raleigh to Provo in 38 hours. That’s over 2,000 miles. I stand by my claim that it was the worst part of 2010. Here’s what might be the Romgi’s worst experience from 2010: a toothache so intense that he was seriously considering pulling it out himself. An emergency dentist visit made us fear the Romgi would need a root canal, but fortunately the problem was fixed with a filling. Cheaper! Quicker! Less painful! Then, more school. I applied to start classes again in January 2011. The Romgi started remodeling the Bwun’s room to make way for baby.

SEPTEMBER. We had great family pictures taken. The Romgi and I actually went out on a date! Dinner at Leatherby’s and then a movie in the theater (gasp!) – Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Unrelated, I spent a night in the hospital. I had in fact been carrying the baby high (so high that I could wear my regular pants for much of pregnancy to this point), and she suddenly dropped one day, and then I started having bad contractions. Turns out I don’t do well with the stop-the-contractions medicine they give you. Good to know.

OCTOBER. The Romgi’s dad was in a horrendous car accident, but luckily wasn’t injured, although his car was totaled. The Bwun got sick and we took him to the emergency room late one night. Two days later, my friend Devan threw me a donut-themed baby shower. Two days later, the Bwun cut his forehead and we took him to the emergency room again. The next day, I went into labor and jr was born. Busy week! Very busy week! We didn’t do much for Halloween because we were still reeling from having jr a month early.

NOVEMBER. My parents came out to visit for a day (and my mom cleaned my kitchen while I had a nap). Most of the month was spent adjusting to life with two kids. We spent Thanksgiving with Kimberlee and Quentin, which meant we didn’t have to host, cook, or clean up. That’s a good holiday! The Romgi and I instituted Amish Hour at our house. And he made the world’s most delicious pumpkin chocolate cake. Divine. Then my mom came out for a whole week to help me. Mom, can you come back?

DECEMBER. What better way to kick off December than by getting stomach flu? It was absolute misery, and I haven’t been able to eat beef since then (since my last pre-flu meal was steak from Carrabba’s). Everyone in the Romgi’s family had it too, but it hit the Romgi hard – right during finals. He was sick for almost 3 days and had to talk to the dean about getting his finals rescheduled. What a champ for making it through those two weeks of finals, especially with me being so grouchy all the time. (Finals make me stressed.) I can graduate in April 2012, the same time as the Romgi, if I stick to my plan which unfortunately involves doing school full-time this next semester. I finished my reading challenge for the year. We had a fantastic Christmas with the Romgi’s family. I think we’re ready to tackle 2011!

Previous: 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

2009 Year in Review

JANUARY. We rang in the New Year at the Romgi’s parents house – without his parents, but with Ben & Krista and our neighbors Doug & Angie. The Bwun continued hiccuping and kicking me mercilessly. We started going to prenatal classes at the hospital in Payson, shortly before we started going to the hospital on a weekly basis for my late-night woes. See, in mid-January I had the bright idea of rearranging our living room furniture…including the extremely heavy tv. This was actually a very bad idea, as it meant that I was technically in labor for the next 6 weeks, with regular contractions and not a lot of sleep. I think I’ll skip that part next time. With a nice prescription for Ambien, though, I was able to mostly enjoy a 4-day trip with the Romgi’s family to a ski lodge in northern Utah (I did not ski). Also, I ate boeuf de bourguignon for the first time. That was an experience worth repeating.

FEBRUARY. Free breakfast at Denny’s, except an hour-long wait in line behind a really, really creepy guy kind of ruined my appetite. What did sound good, though, was our traditional Valentine’s Day dinner: my favorite Korean dish, samgyeopsal. So. Delicious. Unfortunately, the night before (Friday the 13th, NOT coincidentally), I made the Romgi take me to the emergency room because I was in severe pain – which I thought was from pulling a muscle when I tried moving the tv. One blissful shot of Demerol, one ultrasound, and five hours later, we found out the truth: the Bwun hated me. He had kicked me so hard he was ruining several of my organs. The good news was that my doctor agreed to induce me before the Bwun’s due date. So the Romgi and I went home, got some sleep (I probably got a bit more than he did), and set to work finishing the nursery. It’s amazing, if I do say so myself. And then…and then…the Bwun! Seriously, we had a baby. He was little. He did nothing but sleep at first. I could gush about how fantastic he is, but then what would I talk about for the rest of this summary? My mom came out to stay with us for about two weeks, and after she left we seriously considered paying her to come back. Oh yeah, and the Romgi got accepted to BYU Law School! I guess that was just before we had the Bwun. But it was easy to get caught up in the whole we-have-a-new-baby thing.

MARCH. It turns out that you can do a lot of reading when you have a newborn. I think March is probably my all-time record for number of books read. By the time the Bwun was a month old, I was starting to feel like I just might be able to pull motherhood off. Then the Romgi left for a weekend to visit law schools in California. Misery! No one to take a turn with the Bwun in the middle of the night! Luckily, my sister visited that week, which was not only pleasant company but almost like a nanny I could give the Bwun to. Why don’t we have a real nanny? The Romgi celebrated his 25th birthday. Man, we’re old! No wonder we need a nanny!

APRIL. The Romgi decided to stay at BYU for law school, so I was spared the horror of packing everything up to move out of Utah (although I probably would not have minded leaving the snow). Actually, the weather in April was gorgeous, and I spent a lot of time outdoors with the Bwun, taking pictures of the Bwun. And the weather. Mostly the Bwun.

MAY. I unintentionally scheduled a trip over our anniversary, so the Romgi and I didn’t have a chance to go out to celebrate. Instead, I was in Yellowstone with his mom and my sister-in-law (and our kids). The snow had mostly melted, but there were very few people there, so we were able to enjoy the scenery and the buffalos – in relative peace. The Bwun was still too small to know what was going on, and he mostly slept in his carseat. What a good baby. After a couple days visiting Old Faithful and the breathtaking Sapphire Pool, we headed back to Provo so that our little family could make a second trip. The Romgi and I packed another suitcase and took the Bwun with us to New Mexico for my grandpa’s 80th birthday. Almost all of the extended family was there. It was great to see relatives and show off the Bwun (my dad hadn’t even met him yet!). By the time we got home from that excursion, the Bwun and I had been in the car for over 60 hours of driving time through 6 states (Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico) in 6 days. Impressive for such a little kid! Also impressive, he learned how to roll over at 3 months. Trust me, it’s really cool. We took advantage of a Memorial Day sale at IKEA to give our living room a whole new look: we replaced the plaid/flowered pink-and-green couch with a nice Beddinge sofa bed, added a Poang chair and a black bookcase, and Craigslisted our huge tv (the one that almost killed me) so we could mount the flat screen on the wall. It looked fabulous.

JUNE. And just in time, too, because we had a full house for the Bwun’s baby blessing. My parents and sister came out from California, and my grandpa drove up from New Mexico (he adored the Bwun, who is named after him). Then add in all our friends and family who live in the area, and there really was standing room only. For the rest of the month, I enjoyed gorgeous weather, an adorable baby, and a new (to me) camera. The Romgi and I also enjoyed a trip to the Cheesecake Factory, a magical place with enormous servings. Plus cheesecake. How can you go wrong?

JULY. The Bwun was surprisingly interested in fireworks. I don’t think he cried much at all. Then again, he doesn’t ever cry much. Did I mention he’s the perfect baby? The Romgi’s boss at work did some incredible portraits of the Romgi and I, which we proudly displayed when I had my birthday party. Yes, I too turned 25. Ancient! Decrepit! No? I guess not. I made a three-layer carrot cake and it was beautiful. We used some of our spare cash to buy a butterflied leg of lamb. You know it was good if it made it onto my year in review. Actually, it was better than good. It was heavenly. And we thankfully had it before disaster struck: the Romgi got swine flu! We were quarantined in our house for a week! We missed seeing Krista’s newborn twins! But, miracle of miracles, the Bwun didn’t catch the flu. He was perfect, like always.

AUGUST. After taking some more pictures of my adorable baby Bwun, we all went down to New Mexico again. This time, it was just us and my grandpa. The Romgi had a few days between the end of his job and the beginning of law school, so we took a “vacation” at my grandpa’s cabin. It was not restful, but it was a ton of fun. We even got a bat in our room the first night. Adventure! Back in Utah, we tried to give Krista a break by taking her big kids to the dinosaur museum. Apparently I forgot that I hate crowds, and I was g-r-o-u-c-h-y. But before too long I got over it because…the Bwun learned how to crawl! It made him even cuter than before! I have the best baby! (Sorry, all other parents. I’m not objective. But I am right.) Then the Romgi started law school. Challenging, demanding, and stressful. I bet it’s hard for him, too.

SEPTEMBER. We tried to have some family pictures taken, but it was more work than we expected. It did finally work out, and if you ask me, we looked mighty spankin’ good. While the Romgi continued on with law school, I decided to try doing classes on campus during winter semester. I also wrote my most-discussed book review, for The Red Tent. You should read it! (The book. And then the review.)

OCTOBER. The Romgi had a week off of school, in which he refinished our ugly bedroom nightstands, and we made cup pies and biscotti. Once he went back to his life in the library I took a trip to California to surprise my parents. The Bwun surprised me–he was well-behaved and calm for the entire car ride. We had a nice week-long visit and got to see some friends and family. I didn’t blog after our trip, so the rest of the year is really guesswork.

NOVEMBER. We had a nice Thanksgiving dinner with our neighbors, and then took advantage of some great Black Friday deals from the comfort of our living room. I love the internet. The Romgi and I made it through the first few discs of season 3 of 24–isn’t the show on season 7 or something? We’re so far behind! We’ll never make it. Although it did take a lot of restraint to not watch the entire season in one sitting.

DECEMBER. A bad way to start the month: the Bwun got swine flu. So not fun. But he got better, and we started getting ready for Christmas. (Ok, I started getting ready. The Romgi was in the midst of finals.) There were cards to send out (I think this year’s were top-notch!), presents to buy, caramels and fudge to make, gift boxes to deliver, and luggage to pack. We took the train again–and once more, the Bwun was an angel. Aside from wearing us out walking up and down the aisles with him, he was so good. He learned how to wave and charmed everybody on the train. He also charmed my family, which, let’s be honest, wasn’t difficult. He’s just so charming. We loved the pleasant California weather, and it was hard to come back to the cold wintery death of Utah. Especially because our car died on the freeway on New Year’s Eve. What a lousy way to end the year! We sure hope we still have a car in 2010!

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2008 Year in Review

I hope you appreciate how much thinking this entailed on my part, at a time when thinking is not my strong point.

JANUARY. As always, New Year’s was held at the Romgi’s parents’ house (a tradition we missed this year, since they were in California partying it up!). Delicious food all evening, firecrackers at midnight. Ah. The new semester started off right as I got a letter saying I made the Dean’s List for the College of Family, Home, & Social Sciences for Fall 2007! To celebrate I started reading a lot of non-school books and paying less attention in my classes. Huh. Great logic, Roni. I also volunteered to be in charge of the women’s book club for my ward, but that didn’t take off for another month or so.

FEBRUARY. I love doing the Year in Review because (thanks to blogging) it reminds me of all the adventures I had that somehow got pushed to the back of my mind in the intervening months. For example, I crashed our car in February. The insurance company sure said it was my fault, but I blame the snow…I made a left turn one evening and as I did so the tires started sliding, which pulled the car down the slanted side of the road and into a lamppost. Luckily I was fine, the lamppost was fine, and the front fender was…just a bit damaged. Then, a few days later, the car stopped working altogether. The key wouldn’t turn at all to start the car. Which meant we had to have it towed to a body shop. Yuck! (P.S. Thanks again, parents, for helping us out with that one!) It also meant that we had to postpone our Valentine’s Day anything, since it’s hard to sneak out to get a present when you have to walk everywhere. But once the car was fixed, the Romgi brought me awesome flowers, a pound of See’s chocolate (which I will always maintain is a perfect gift), and a new pet rat! If that sounds weird to you, just remind yourself that you and I are different. I’d been feeling miserable about the lizards dying, and careless for accidentally crashing the car, so having an adorable furry little animal to take care of and lavish with whatever affection you can really give a rat was wonderful. It helped me get out of a funk and start paying attention in classes again, too! Oh, and the Romgi and I both got jobs—at the law school (him) and Independent Study (me). And I bought the Romgi a rat so that my rat could have a friend. Even though they both have names, we refer to them as “my rat” and “your rat.” It sounds a lot more territorial than it really is.

MARCH. Most of March was spent reading. The first meeting of the ward book club was held at my apartment, and I had the pleasure of being the only non-childbearing person there. Everyone else either had kids or was pregnant. Great way to feel left out. We talked about what kinds of books we wanted to read, how the club would be run, and so on. The woman who was previously in charge but decided she was too busy for the responsibility was a great contributor to the discussion (read: she was the discussion). The Romgi, who lurked in the other room where he could hear our conversation, later called her the Jabberwock. It’s a great nickname and I hope to someday meet another person I can secretly call the Jabberwock. Yeah. Anyway, I had prepared a list of possible books, and since no one seemed to have an opinion on what we read, I chose The Kite Runner and we planned to meet the following month. For the Romgi’s birthday, I made a smaller version of my mom’s 12-layer chocolate cake (it is the best cake in the world). And in a gesture of true love, I gave the Romgi Alien vs. Predator as one of his gifts. You just don’t understand us, do you? That’s ok, sometimes I don’t either.

APRIL. At work one morning I was browsing through the recently-listed apartments in Provo, mainly because I liked the idea of upgrading. I happened upon a listing for a two-bedroom basement apartment with “tile floors” in the kitchen and bathroom, a “deep jetted tub,” and a washer and dryer for barely more than we were paying for our one-bedroom linoleum kitchen no-washer-and-dryer-or-laundromat apartment. I emailed the poster and made an arrangement for the Romgi and I to go see it after work. We totally lucked out—not only did we absolutely love the apartment, but thanks to my quick email, we were the first people to come take a look, and the tenants had been given permission to sell to anyone they liked. And they liked us. One downside: because the basement and upstairs were formerly one single house unit, Provo zoning laws prevented having an oven in the basement. That’s right. We have no oven. But we did still have an oven for all of April, since the current residents weren’t moving until mid-May. So I stuck around at our old place and hosted the first book discussion meeting of the book club. Guess what? No one showed up. That was awesome, after I stayed up the night before reading the book and skipped a class to get the apartment clean. Good news, though! The Romgi graduated college!! Sadly the Humanities department got the most boring…speaker…ever for their ceremony. Honestly, he talked for at least 45 minutes. That’s what I remember most about graduation. Isn’t that unfortunate?


So glad the speaker is done.

MAY. I didn’t blog at all in May, which is probably because we were getting ready to move and then moving the whole month. Or most of it. We did have our one-year anniversary, which we celebrated by going to Ottavio’s, a delicious Italian restaurant in downtown Provo. If we ever have money (ha! Probably not while we’re in Provo) I’d like to go again. Then the Romgi’s parents took us out to celebrate his graduation, and that was at the very nice, very expensive Chef’s Table. De. Li. Cious. Mmm. At work I found out that I was being considered for a promotion of sorts; the woman who is a liaison between Independent Study and its professors thought I was an excellent candidate to replace one of her assistants who was leaving at the end of the summer. So I looked forward to doing an interview…someday.

JUNE. In early June, I got an email—who knows why I got it at all, especially not until that day—about the TaLK program to teach English in rural Korea; it said the deadline to apply was in less than a week. The Romgi and I were both excited about the opportunity, since it would be a great cultural experience, we’d be helping people, and it would allow us to save up quite a bit of money for law school. Of course, it also meant we had one week to decide if we wanted to move abroad for a year. Better still: the program started August 1. But, we felt good about it, so we spent the next week frantically getting passports, letters of recommendation, luggage, a webcam to do a video interview with the Korean Consulate in San Francisco…finally everything was in except a copy of my passport, so we took a trip down to New Mexico for my family reunion over the weekend and hoped the passport would have arrived when we got back. The drive down to New Mexico was longer than I expected, but it was fun to meet up with my brother and his kids for part of it. Plus I got to introduce the Romgi to almost all the rest of my extended family, and he went horseback riding with my grandpa! Good times all around. But, we did have to get back to Provo. And when we did, guess what we found out? Yes, my passport came, but I was also pregnant! Um, Korea? For a year? With my first kid? I kind of regret my quick decision but I tossed the TaLK program out the door the same day. One last thing: we came home from work at the end of the month to find a bunch of baby quail trapped at the bottom of our stairs! They were too little to jump back up the steps. We have pictures on our phone…very adorable.

JULY. Remember that promotion at work? The interviews were finally held at the beginning of July, but even though I was the favorite choice, my good baby news meant I’d only be at Independent Study until the end of December—and they were looking for someone slightly more permanent. I was really kind of sad about that. And I got my first pregnancy cravings: sushi. With cooked meat, mind you, but I HAD to have sushi. I was desperate. The joke’s on me, though, because I ate too much the second time the Romgi humored me by taking me out to get sushi, and since then it sounds like one of the worst foods in the world. Too bad I didn’t tell the Romgi that right away, because he was really sweet to get me a sushi-making kit and book for my birthday. I promise, eventually sushi will sound good again, and then I can make my own and be super-awesome! Really. He also gave me an Ecosphere, which I’m wondering how he plans on ever topping in terms of best gifts. We went to Llama Fest in Spanish Fork at the Krishna temple (yes, those are all weird things to say, especially together), and I made a fabulous llama cupcake cake which I was, tragically, too nauseated to ever try. But I heard it was good. Also: my first prenatal visit. Complete disaster. After that I switched doctors and it’s been a much better experience ever since, but I felt so miserable. Now I’m convinced in the power of recommendation for finding a doctor you like. Trust other people. We did go against the first doctor’s advice and told our parents that we’re expecting, which made the Romgi’s family reunion easier—less explaining about why I felt sick when we drove on the twisty mountain roads. The reunion was a week-long event in Brian Head, near Cedar City, and we had a blast. We got to see Cyrano de Bergerac with the Romgi’s parents, look at petroglyphs, and go on a long-ish hike in the rain and hail. The hike was more fun in retrospect than it was at the time. Bonus: we found out that Sposita is also expecting a baby right around the same time as us.

AUGUST. New doctor: awesome. In early August I had my first appointment with him and he did an ultrasound—I got to see the Bwun! So tiny! Exactly the size and shape of a cinnamon bear, so we called it the Cinnabwun for a while. Trust me, it’s funny. The doctor said we should expect the Bwun around February 28. I stopped working at Independent Study and started doing classes through Independent Study…it seemed easier than going to campus everyday for classes, considering that I wanted to throw up more often than not. As the month went on, I started feeling better, with the exception of increasing hormone levels that made me ridiculously emotional. Everything was suddenly poignant, including the end of the movie Cars. Hmm. How about that?

SEPTEMBER. By now we’d been in our new apartment for several months, and I had come to the conclusion that I left an entire cupboard full of stuff in our old kitchen. Despite repeated attempts to get in touch with the new tenants, they were never home. Finally we were driving by one night when I saw that the bathroom light was on and shouted for the Romgi to pull over. I ran up the stairs and probably weirded the new tenants out when I said I was sorry, but I wondered if they had my stuff. Yes and no. They had the cheap stuff. They gave the expensive stuff (such as our coolest-ever fish platter) to DI because they didn’t want it to go to waste. I can’t even blame my brain lapse in leaving the stuff on pregnancy! It was just dumb! So it goes on my list of regrets. The Romgi switched jobs because he had worked the maximum amount of time in a student position after graduating, which we found out in October was actually a very good thing…

OCTOBER. The new job had an employee dinner with lots of door prizes. It was a nice dinner, with absolutely perfect mousse for dessert, and after we suffered through the two-hour presentation of awards they gave out the door prize we had entered for: a 42-inch plasma tv. Yes, we won. And yes, we fit it into our car. And yes, we put it in our bedroom in place of the computer monitor, so I’m writing this using a giant monitor. (And yes…I still have to wear contacts or glasses to be able to read anything on the screen.) We also got a $50 giftcard to P.F. Chang’s, which we’d been wanting to try, but…well, we’re poor, alright? I took a trip back to California for about a week and a half, which was relaxing and wonderful and fabulous. It was also the first time I’d gone without seeing the Romgi for more than a day since he was in Korea in 2006. Weird, huh? But when I got back to Utah we had The Ultrasound appointment and found out that the Bwun is a boy! And Sposita had her appointment and found out she’s having a girl! So we’re carrying on the tradition of having one boy and one girl around the same time. The bad news from October: Mother’s Cookies declared bankruptcy and shut down production, making Cookie Parade extremely hard to find. But we did get to make apple pie with our friends, which made me feel both talented and popular. Oh! And we spent a day at the zoo with the Romgi’s nephew. A very long day. And the Romgi took the LSAT. It’s hard to remember everything that happened, so it doesn’t necessarily end up here in order!

NOVEMBER. Drawing on the success of our apple pie, in November the Romgi and I tried making cup pies—which yes, are like little pies, made in cupcake tins. They’re unbelievably easy and delicious. We first made apple, then maple walnut, with a trial berry cup pie tossed in there as well. The greatest thing about cup pies, aside from their tastiness, is their great capacity for sharing. We’ve become friends with our basement neighbors (we live in a duplex) because of this. I also made banana muffins, endlessly good, which are difficult to share but I did manage to give some of them away. The people who we got the apartment from actually moved to the not-right-above-us upstairs apartment in the building (because the people who used to live there were moving to Texas or something), and we found out they’re having twin boys in January! Also, I feel like I should mention that November was election month, and we did actually put the tv antenna out the window so that we could watch coverage on election night. Plus we got a crib and bedding and started actually putting together the Bwun’s room, so he can have an awesome room here even if we have to move next summer (hooray for law school applications!).

DECEMBER. …The world has been righted! Kellogg’s announced that it would purchase the Mother’s Cookies trademark and recipes, and produce many of Mother’s most popular cookies. Breathe a sigh of relief! The Romgi got his first law school acceptance letter, to McGeorge School of Law at University of the Pacific in Sacramento. And I played Rock Band for the first time; until my tummy is a little smaller and holding the guitar is more comfortable, I think I’ll stick with drums. We experienced the weirdest “ham” in the world at our ward party the same week I got to experience the “orange soda” gestational diabetes drink (which was surprisingly not as bad as I expected). I spent a lot of December being grouchy, but we had a really fun Christmas at Besta’s, and it was great to have a New Year’s party with Besta and our awesome neighbors, watching Nacho Libre and eating lots of food. My thoughts in the final moments of 2008 were, “Maybe I can go to bed soon…I’m so tired…” Here’s to a fantastic 2009!

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2007 Year in Review

JANUARY. 2007 started (and ended) with a celebration at the Hillerys’ in Bluffdale. Back in Provo, I met my new roommate Mandy, who has been tons and tons of enjoyable someday-we’ll-go-to-hell-together fun. Jarom and I spent a terrifically prehistoric day at the dinosaur museum with Kimberlee and Quentin. The next weekend, after I casually mentioned to Krista one day that there was a “minimal to low chance” that the Romgi would propose that day, he did! We got engaged on our way to see Stranger Than Fiction with Kimberlee and Quentin. Oh, what fun.

FEBRUARY. I didn’t waste any time getting a wedding dress picked out. I’ve seen several other girls with the same dress since then (no surprise), but the Romgi assures me that it looks best on me. Together we started watching 24, visited my cousin Bethany and her family, and got Mandy hooked on 24. A successful month altogether.

Since the Romgi and I dropped our religion class at the beginning of the semester (it was dumb), we felt obligated to go to Institute at least once. We were engaged, though, and it was March before we really tried going. That was a disaster. And we never went again. On the bright side, we managed to find an apartment (we still live there, even!), and I wrote a tolerably insightful paper on PEPFAR. Then there was the wedding invitation fiasco. THAT was a disaster.

APRIL. Hooray for my other roommate Jaime, who got engaged in April and started planning her own wedding! And speaking of weddings, Kimberlee threw me a bridal shower with the best decorations ever. The Romgi and I got tricked into listening to a timeshare sort of thing at Trendwest up in who-knows-where, which was not so much a disaster as a royal waste of time. Luckily, it wasn’t long before we got to go back to sunny California, and I loved my first experience at the Sacramento temple.

MAY. I suppose May counts as an important month. Oh, yes, because I got married. It was actually quite lovely. The Romgi and I even got to go on a honeymoon afterwards; we spent a week in Pajaro Dunes and then stopped for a night in Columbia on our way home. Back in Utah we opened presents, presents, and more presents, both from the reception and the open house we had in our new apartment. A few days later we got to be part of the IKEA grand opening, where we bought all the furniture we could possibly afford.

JUNE. The summer really got going when the Romgi and I got hired at the same company (Platinum Protection), working in the call center taking calls from sales representatives and installation technicians. Not the best job in the world, nor the best company, but it paid well, we got to work together, and the hours (6am-2:30pm) made sure we went to bed early. For some reason (probably because I begged and pleaded) we bought a pet rat. Puppy sure was adorable.

JULY. Most of July was spent reading, whether at work or not. Harry Potter 7 came out the day after my birthday, so naturally I stayed up to get a midnight copy!

AUGUST. Most of August was spent recovering from disasters. First the Romgi and I locked our keys in the car; then we took Mu to the vet, who ripped his jaw out; then I had to get an ultrasound to see if I had a bloodclot in my leg; then I accidentally flooded our bathroom (and the bathroom downstairs…thanks, gravity).

SEPTEMBER. September’s theme was lizards. Thinking maybe Mu needed a friend, I got a tiny baby water dragon to keep him company. Mu didn’t seem to care much one way or the other, and the Romgi never really liked the little guy, so we traded him for a baby bearded dragon named Remington Steele (he got his own cage). Krista got free tickets to the Utah Baby Fair, to which I happily tagged along. We didn’t win any prizes, but we sure got lots of business cards. We also went up to the Relief Society general broadcast (tickets courtesy of Krista, again), braving the cold and the rain. I’m pretty positive I got sick from that. My favorite part about September, though, was that the Romgi and I started talking seriously about a baby.

OCTOBER. School took over most of my life for October, but there was a happy break when the Romgi and I went to my cousin Jennifer’s wedding in Salt Lake. It was the first wedding I’d been to since my own, and it was beautiful. We took the afternoon to go visit my old roommate, who had just had her second baby. And for Halloween? I had class that night. O joy.

NOVEMBER. I think November tested my endurance. The Romgi and I spent a superbly long 20 hours doing ALL of our laundry at his parents’ house, then came home to find that Puppy had died. The best we can tell is that he was sort of sickly, being a pet-store rat, and we just didn’t know what symptoms to look for. To make the season complete, our car battery died on the way to Thanksgiving dinner (#1 of 2), which meant we were late to dinner #1 and missed dinner #2. And because nothing helps a bad day like standing in the cold for eight hours, the Romgi and I went to Black Friday at Best Buy. (He bought me a Zelda DS Lite!)

DECEMBER. The first half of December was brutal. School did not want to let go of my life. It turned out alright, though. Our biology final was cancelled (who does that?) and the others weren’t half bad. Of course, at the time, I thought I would die (or fail and then die) before the semester ever ended. But I did in fact survive and we spent a nice evening having a pre-Christmas dinner in Bluffdale before taking the train (yes, the train) back to California. The Romgi and I had a good time hanging out with my family, although perhaps our favorite part (no offense, family) was the gorgeous weather. I had almost forgotten what it felt like to be able to walk around with short sleeves on. The year took a turn for the worse when we got back to Utah and discovered that, despite our best intentions and the help of the Romgi’s brother, our thermostat was defective and had heated the apartment to about 125°F, completely dehumidifying everything and (tragedy!!) killing both Mu and Remington. We feel terrible about this, but there’s not much we can do at this point, so we tried to send 2007 out with a bang. Here’s hoping the best for 2008!

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